On April 15, 2019, the world was overcome with emotion as the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames. However, amidst the tragedy, there was a promise to rebuild.
Images of the fire sparked an outpouring of global support. Autodesk quickly decided to participate in the efforts to rebuild the historic site. Starting with a cash donation, and then thanks to the initiative of the CEO, Andrew Anagnost, by offering the company’s technology in 3D digital modeling.
Autodesk quickly formed a core group of employees to support the French public institution Rebâtir Notre-Dame de Paris throughout the restoration. Autodesk also partnered with Art Graphique & Patrimoine (AGP), a leading French company in laser scanning and digitization of historic monuments.
This partnership created a highly detailed digital model of Notre Dame by combining existing scans with new laser surveys. This BIM model and Autodesk software were free to the public institution Rebâtir Notre Dame. They made it available to construction site stakeholders via a technology and skills patronage agreement.
Four years after the fire, construction efforts are now in full swing. Hundreds of artisans and construction professionals are working with an ambition to reopen in late 2024.
The power of BIM for heritage preservation
Because of Notre Dame’s complexity, structural details, and sheer size, it took Autodesk and AGP over a year to create a full-scale digital model.
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They fully designed the model using Autodesk technologies, requiring 12 laser scanners and a team of seven engineers to scan the building and collect 46,000 images. It’s an unrivaled example of historical modeling using Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.
Heritage preservation: A digital gift for the future
The restoration of Notre Dame is not the first preservation project supported by Autodesk.
Thanks to Autodesk software and other partners’ tools, a global team of technology professionals digitized and supported the restoration of almost every inch of Volterra – a 3,000-year-old medieval city in Italy. Well, everything except for the still-in-use jail.
Other digitalization projects include the Apollo 11 capsule at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, and a plan to digitally preserve the USS Arizona site in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As you can see, the Notre Dame restoration project is built on strong foundations.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Notre Dame. Source: Unsplash.